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Old 02-05-2013, 10:51 AM   #21
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I sure hope this thread doesn't get shut down due to politics...
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:06 AM   #22
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I think the question is, what initiatives should have R&D funded by the government, and which by the private sector. In general, if it produces a non-essential, salable product that can show clear ROI, let the private sector do it. Something that isn't easily profitable but is perceived as a significant "public good" could have public funding for the R&D.

For example, researching medical "cures". R&D to create medications that treat symptoms only (and must be taken for life) are *very* profitable and the private sector has no problem doing that. A cure? There's no profit in a *cure* that you take once and never again, but it is sufficiently in the public interest that government-funded R&D is more appropriate. Would today's private sector develop effective antibiotics that *cure* infection? How about polio or smallpox? Would today's industry market a *cure* or would they look instead for medications that manage the symptoms (taken for life)? I'm not saying that makes the private industry "bad people" but their primary motives (profit versus the public interest) are not entirely aligned. Their job is to produce products that generate profit.

Neither government nor the private sector are evil; each has their place.
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:10 AM   #23
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I think the question is, what initiatives should have R&D funded by the government, and which by the private sector. In general, if it produces a non-essential, salable product that can show clear ROI, let the private sector do it. Something that isn't easily profitable but is perceived as a significant "public good" could have public funding for the R&D.

For example, researching medical "cures". R&D to create medications that treat symptoms only (and must be taken for life) are *very* profitable and the private sector has no problem doing that. A cure? There's no profit in a *cure* that you take once and never again, but it is sufficiently in the public interest that government-funded R&D is more appropriate. Would today's private sector develop effective antibiotics that *cure* infection? How about polio or smallpox? Would today's industry market a *cure* or would they look instead for medications that manage the symptoms (taken for life)?

Neither government nor the private sector are evil; each has their place.
Very well said IMO. I think mobile technology/communication will become essential sooner than we expect, but that's another thread that we've already discussed.
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:16 AM   #24
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I think the question is, what initiatives should have R&D funded by the government, and which by the private sector. In general, if it produces a non-essential, salable product that can show clear ROI, let the private sector do it. Something that isn't easily profitable but is perceived as a significant "public good" could have public funding for the R&D.

For example, researching medical "cures". R&D to create medications that treat symptoms only (and must be taken for life) are *very* profitable and the private sector has no problem doing that. A cure? There's no profit in a *cure* that you take once and never again, but it is sufficiently in the public interest that government-funded R&D is more appropriate. Would today's private sector develop effective antibiotics that *cure* infection? How about polio or smallpox? Would today's industry market a *cure* or would they look instead for medications that manage the symptoms (taken for life)?

Neither government nor the private sector are evil; each has their place.
Completely agree.

Although, your example may not be the best - chicken pox, shingles, and HPV vaccines are pretty recent. Antibiotics were just recently used to cure stomach ulcers rather than treat them. Many procedures are now outpatient and much more manageable than their older methods which required days in the hospital and weeks longer recovery and therapy.

But there certainly is a financial incentive for those long term treatments, and I'm sure it does warp things from where we would want them to be.

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Old 02-05-2013, 11:21 AM   #25
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I just hope the government doesn't stick its nose into the GPS system. I like the system that Garmin has set up and don't want to see anyone mess with it.
Sweet!
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Old 02-05-2013, 01:06 PM   #26
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My primary concern for "free" wifi is security...

I occasionally use wifi at the airport, and it seems that several times I soon noticed strange activity on my yahoo mail address, and/or on Facebook, like someone either intercepted a password, or somehow spoofed my email address.
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Old 02-05-2013, 01:18 PM   #27
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After Katrina, we were given free highspeed wifi throughout New Orleans to help with the recovery! Wahoo! Let the good times roll.

Well, just downtown, to begin with.

Well, that was too ambitious so just a 6x8 block area at the start.

Well, you could only connect from some places in that 6x8 block area, mostly outside, because the signal was too weak and was being blocked by buildings and walls.

Well, even if/when you could find the signal some place outside, and connect, it was erratic and ridiculously slow.

I think they took it down at some point, although it would be hard to tell.

But hey, let the good times roll. And sorry if I am not more excited about government run internet.
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Old 02-05-2013, 01:29 PM   #28
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While not a fan of the gov't running anything, let's also remember that it was the government that invented the internet (sorry Mr Gore) with the development of ARPANET/DARPANET.

Fact is, the town over from me has had free wifi throughout all of downtown for almost ten years.
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Old 02-05-2013, 02:44 PM   #29
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I'm all for it, but...here's the fly in the ointment: Once there is ubiquitous wifi you'll be able to make free phone/cell calls via the likes of Google, Skype, etc etc...

Anyone really think that ATT, Verizon, TMobile and crew will allow a billion dollar industry to go away?
+1. Sell the cell carriers!
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:07 PM   #30
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The US would not be the first country to have free WIFI.
Niue - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I am convinced it will happen here... when...
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:42 PM   #31
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But hey, let the good times roll. And sorry if I am not more excited about government run internet.
FWIW, free wi-fi everywhere is what got my attention...
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:03 PM   #32
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So, is all of this brou-ha-ha over a proposal that doesn't exist?
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:19 PM   #33
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So, is all of this brou-ha-ha over a proposal that doesn't exist?
We'll see, but "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is." Thanks for the link.

Off to dream up a dead end topic for tomorrow...
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Old 02-05-2013, 05:02 PM   #34
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I just hope the government doesn't stick its nose into the GPS system. I like the system that Garmin has set up and don't want to see anyone mess with it.
Yup, it warms my heart to know about those Garmin satellites whizzing about up there without a lick of government involvement and certainly no tax payer dollars
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Old 02-05-2013, 05:21 PM   #35
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I just hope the government doesn't stick its nose into the GPS system. I like the system that Garmin has set up and don't want to see anyone mess with it.
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Yup, it warms my heart to know about those Garmin satellites whizzing about up there without a lick of government involvement and certainly no tax payer dollars
Shhhhhhhhh...

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The cost to the Air Force in 1973 – 2000 to develop and procure the GPS satellites (not including military user equipment or launch costs) was approximately $5.6 billion in 'Year 2000' dollars. The approximate annual cost to operate and maintain the constellation, including research and development and procurement of new satellites, is $750 million.

The projected cost to maintain GPS over the next several years is about $400 million per year.
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GPS became the world's premier position, navigation and timing information service. Civilian users around the globe rely upon GPS as well. In fact, the system serves millions of civilian users with over a 1.4 million handheld and vehicle-mounted GPS receivers having been produced each year since 1997. The rapidly growing GPS market, including equipment and applications, reached $6.2 billion in 2000 and was expected to surpass $50 billion by 2010.
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:12 PM   #36
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Over the past century or so, the gummint got involved in a number of things to insure everyone got a shot at the "good stuff" (rural free delivery, rural electrification and others.) These were provided, ostensibly because it wouldn't have happened (certainly not as quickly) if left to private enterprise. Now, while not everyone has WiFI (I don't) virtually everyone has access to the internet (some slower, some faster - but access).

So, one needs to question why this is being considered. Beyond the usual suspects (buying votes from "poor" people with "rich" peoples money, for instance) what's the big attraction? What's in it for the gummint? Couldn't it be just one more way to keep closer tabs on folks? The gummint pitched a royal fit when people found out that they could so effectively encrypt that the gummint could no longer eves drop (with warrents, of course, heh, heh - can you spell fisa??). Call me paranoid, (but just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you.) One more subject where it could get political, so let me just say that YMMV. (Oh, and don't ask "what have you got to hide?")
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:45 PM   #37
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So, one needs to question why this is being considered. Beyond the usual suspects (buying votes from "poor" people with "rich" peoples money, for instance) what's the big attraction? What's in it for the gummint? Couldn't it be just one more way to keep closer tabs on folks?
Meh. Most folks already carry cellphones. That already permits position tracking and past position history to be collected from 'routine business records" of the cellular companies without warrants. (Ever wonder how those cell calls find their way to the right tower and directional antenna? Your phone and the cellular provider exchange information to keep your position up to date in the call routing database.)

http://m.nbcnews.com/technology/tech...nes-too-625114

Oh, and what you say? Federal law enforcement officials may eavesdrop on and record telephone conversations without a court order under the so-called "one party consent provision" (18 USC 2511(2)(s)). Telephone company employees may listen to your conversations when it is necessary to provide you with service, to inspect the telephone system, to monitor the quality of telephone service or to protect against service theft or harassment. Employers generally may monitor and even record their employees' phone conversations with few restrictions (18 USC 2511(2)(a)).

WiFi networks are effectively privacy-free zones. Anyone can and will record whatever you do. Packet sniffers and cracking software is widely available, as are systems that can be run on a laptop to execute man-in-the-middle attacks. Ever fire up a laptop or gadget in an airport and see multiple networks? There's the one the airport runs ("SFOWiFi"), and then there is that one that looks right ("Free Public WiFi"). Oh, and I also see "SFO WiFi", and "SFO Wi FI". Guess which ones will steal your Yahoo Mail password? Encryption outside the WiFi domain is essential, through something like a VPN connection to a trusted network.
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Old 02-06-2013, 07:51 AM   #38
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Well, maybe this story has more to it than my earlier link asserted. The Washington Post has an article about it this morning. But, if the Post is correct, all the FTC is doing is considering setting aside a portion of the new available spectrum it will auction off in the future for innovative, unlicensed uses that would be free to consumers. As the article says, they did something similar that allowed things like baby monitors and garage door openers. This one would allow other developments, including free "super wifi" that cities or outfits like Google are interested in trying.

None of this resembles the Government gone amuck speculations. It doesn't even involve Government developing anything. Seems like the prudent thing for citizens to do is evaluate the concept and join in the discussion to help shape the final (if any) offering.
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:58 AM   #39
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<SNIPS>

Meh. Most folks already carry cellphones. That already permits position tracking and past position history to be collected from 'routine business records" of the cellular companies without warrants.

Oh, and what you say? Federal law enforcement officials may eavesdrop on and record telephone conversations without a court order under the so-called "one party consent provision" (18 USC 2511(2)(s)).
Though I'm a proud Luddite, I was aware of all this. I just see more and more examples of our privacy being eroded. To suggest 'because we've already lost a lot of privacy, a little bit more loss isn't so bad' seems the wrong sentiment. The old 'frog being slowly boiled' story comes to mind.

See also my tag line, but as always, YMMV.
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:35 PM   #40
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WiFi networks are effectively privacy-free zones. Anyone can and will record whatever you do.

Oh good! Anyone or any organization dastardly enough to be recording what I do on wireless, deserves what he will get - - - being bored to death! I chuckle whenever I think about it.

The internet track of a 64 year old retired woman like me can be awfully tame. If someone is recording my internet activity, there probably isn't much I can do about it but this potentially could be great revenge.
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